Monday’s Music Moves Me: Xmas Music Xtravaganza, Part 3!

Last week, Maggie asked, "if you were creating your own Christmas album, what songs and singers would be included?" What follows from that simple question is a 30-song playlist of the songs and artists I would include. I decided that, rather than mix traditional Christmas hymns and carols with the more popular tunes, I would do two lists. The one today has songs that aren’t traditional songs, hymns, and carols, and the one on Friday would be all traditional songs. The playlist is almost two hours long, so you might want to hold onto it for later.

  1. Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops, "Sleigh Ride": written by Leroy Anderson in 1948, although he started it in the middle of a heat wave in July 1946. Well, that’s one way to keep cool…
  2. Burl Ives, "A Holly Jolly Christmas": A song by Johnny Marks, who also wrote "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer," this was performed by Burl Ives in the 1964 Rankin-Bass holiday classic Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer. He re-recorded it in 1965 at a slower tempo and with some great 12-string guitar throughout.
  3. Vince Guaraldi Trio, "Christmastime Is Here": Written by Guaraldi for 1965’s A Charlie Brown Christmas, it’s become a holiday standard.
  4. Gayla Peevey, "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas": Recorded in 1953 when she was just 10 years old, it’s a Christmas standard. At the end of the original video, Gayla sings it again many years later, from memory.
  5. Los Straitjackets, "Linus and Lucy": Also from A Charlie Brown Christmas, given a surf guitar treatment by Los Straitjackets.
  6. Andy Williams, "It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year": A song by Edward Pola and George Wyle that Andy included on his first Christmas album, which we heard last week.
  7. Allan Sherman, "The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas": Song parodist extraordinaire Sherman wrote his own version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," describing the inexpensive (i.e. cheap) gifts of the time.
  8. Stan Freberg, "Green Christmas": What would happen if Ebenezer Scrooge ran an ad agency? Stan gives us a possible scenario.
  9. The Fontane Sisters, "(I’m Gettin’) Nothin’ For Christmas": One of five covers of this song made in 1955. It was also covered that year by Stan Freberg.
  10. Cheech & Chong, "Santa Claus & His Old Lady": Was not on C&C’s first album, but it became a hit anyway and has been a perennial Christmas favorite since 1971, almost 50 years ago.
  11. Barking Dogs, "Jingle Bells": This never fails to get me to laugh. I put it with the last song because I heard both of them on the same day.
  12. "Hardrock, Coco & Joe": This and the next two songs were played every year in rotation on WGN-TV’s Garfield Goose and Friends. I talk about them in this post from five years ago. This was also recorded by Gene Autry, on one of The Singing Cowboy’s Christmas albums.
  13. "Suzy Snowflake": Was done by Rosemary Clooney, no doubt with her children in mind. Wah Ming Chang of Centaur Productions did the stop animation for both this and "Hardrock."
  14. "Frosty The Snowman": A jazzy, uptempo a capella version of the children’s classic.
  15. Dean Martin, "A Marshmallow World": From one of Dean’s Christmas specials, accompanied by a couple of Gold Diggers. (That was the name of the chorus girls on the show.)
  16. Lucille Ball, "We Need A Little Christmas": Played this last month. From the 1974 movie starring Lucy, who reminded me so much of my own mother, right down to the voice.
  17. Pentatonix, "Deck The Halls": One of my favorite groups (and a favorite of many of yours as well). It’s a traditional carol, given the Pentatonix treatment.
  18. Brenda Lee, "Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree": A favorite for over 60 years and gets plenty of airplay around this time of year. I think Brenda has lived off the royalties from this for years.
  19. Porky Pig, "Blue Christmas": I’m not sure exactly who did this, but it’s a classic.
  20. Ray Stevens, "Santa Claus Is Watchin’ You": Ray’s contribution to the Christmas season is a dark, ominous (and very funny) version of "Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town."
  21. "Throw The Yule Log On, Uncle John" This and the next two songs were written by Peter Schickele and attributed to Schickele’s alter ego, P. D. Q. Bach, "the last (and certainly least) child of Johann Sebastian Bach." They can be found on the 1977 album Portrait of P. D. Q. Bach. I’m pretty sure this and "Good King Kong Looked Out" (next) were off the record, with applause added by whoever made the videos.
  22. "Good King Kong Looked Out": See above.
  23. UC-Berkeley’s Perfect Fifth, "O Little Town of Hackensack": A live performance of the third song of the trilogy. These three songs are favorites of choirs around this time of year.
  24. From The Lawrence Welk Show, "Walkin’ In My Winter Underwear": I’m pretty sure the accordion player who sang this was not Myron Floren. In the middle of the last century, making fun of Norwegians (and Scandinavians in general) was an accepted practice, probably because it was their turn (they were replaced by the Polish in the ’60’s).
  25. Uncle Torvald’s Norwegian Memories, "O Lutefisk": Another song that poked gentle fun at the Norwegians, this time having a little fun at the expense of that Scandinavian delicacy, lutefisk, which translates to "lye fish," fish that has been preserved in lye. I am not making this up, as Dave Barry says.
  26. Bobby Helms, "Jingle Bell Rock": Country/rockabilly star Bobby Helms recorded this in 1957, and it’s been a favorite ever since. You can count on hearing it a few times during the season.
  27. Elmo & Patsy, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer": You either love this song or hate it. I don’t think anyone is neutral to this one.
  28. The Royal Guardsmen, "Snoopy’s Christmas": There was a series in the Peanuts comic strip in the ’60’s where Snoopy imagined that he was a World War I flying ace, in hot pursuit of Manfred von Richthofen, the infamous "Red Baron." The Royal Guardsmen had done a song called "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" in 1966 which had reached #2 on the US pop chart at the end of the year, stuck there behind "I’m A Believer." The following year, they recorded this follow-up with a definite Christmas theme. It was a #1 hit in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in the US.
  29. Chuck Berry, "Run Rudolph Run": Johnny Marks, who wrote the original "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," wrote this, and it was recorded in 1958 by Chuck Berry, who made it sound a little like "Johnny B. Goode," which is true of a lot of Chuck’s songs.
  30. Thurl Ravenscroft, "You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch": From the original 1966 TV special How The Grinch Stole Christmas, sung by the man who voiced Tony The Tiger (spokestiger for Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes) for many years.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for December 21, 2020.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

24 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Xmas Music Xtravaganza, Part 3!

  1. Epic playlist. You know, I think I have vague memories of Susie Snowflake, growing up in the 50’s in New York City. And it’s been so many years since I heard that Allan Sherman song. Oh, how many Japanese transistor radios did I break over the years of my childhood? They didn’t last forever, that’s for sure. Porky’s Blue Christmas (sorry, PC people) remains a hysterical classic. So, since you did such a great job with this epic I am going to share a Christmas memory with you – the WPIX (New York) Yule Log. https://youtu.be/VEx4KMzPegc

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    1. The “Suzy Snowflake” video was from 1952, so there’s a good chance you did see it. You might have also heard Rosemary Clooney sing it.

      TBS (when it was still channel 17 in Atlanta) would also do a Yule log, and it was one of those things that would pop up from time to time in Chicago. I don’t remember it being a regular Christmas feature, though. Thanks!

      Like

  2. John,

    WOW, now this is what I call a playlist! I’m going to listen to this with my headphones on in full after while I’m in the kitchen working on Grandma Kennedy’s Stack Cake recipe. Thanks for pulling together such an amazing list of songs for me…us this week. 🙂 I hope you and Mary have a lovely Christmas and a blessed new year, my friend. {{Hugs}}

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  3. I’ve always wanted a hippopotamus for Christmas. I suppose that again this year, I won’t receive my heart’s desire. I’ve never heard Walkin’ In My Winter Underwear, but I am familiar with another great classic: Walkin’ Round In Women’s Underwear.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. Awesome tunes!! I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!🎄🎄🎄 🎁🎁🎁🎅🎅🎅
    • ★ Merry ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★ Christmas 。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚| 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year
    * Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*

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  5. Santa Baby!!! Only Eartha should be allowed to sing it. She was so great.
    Here in Swede Land a very popular song is ‘I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas’ by Yogi Yorgusson. Always cracks me up.

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    1. I forgot that one. There were a bunch I didn’t include. By then it was getting pretty big. I might start another for next year. I want to do traditional carols and songs for Friday (i.e. not popular or novelty). That should be fun to put together.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am loving your Christmas list! I have not listened to all of them because of time constraints but Porky singing Blue Christmas is hilarious and I wonder if it is Mel Blanc at one of the famous Christmas parties many stars had over the years. I like be Ivan Rebroff’s Merry Christmas Album with the Russissiches Lied…spelled it wrong but one of my favourites. Freddy singing on a Christmas album. He is German and it was geared to soldiers on the sea. The Bonanza Christmas Album is great and a tradition at my home…one of my dad’s favourites. I love the German Christmas Carols with the bells because this is Christmas to me. I love Andre Rieu but I do like some more recent songs. One is “ There’ll be Snow at Christmas” sung by an English band that now escapes me but you can tell me for sure…I really love that song. Santa Baby is done to death butthe only one that does it well, in my books, is Eartha Kitt. I also knew one when I was a kid sung to Rudolph but it is Randolph, The bald headed cowboy who had a very shiny gun.

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    1. No one does “Santa Baby” like Eartha Kitt. Plenty have tried, but they pale in comparison.

      I’m pretty sure that’s not Mel Blanc. I heard who it was once upon a time, but don’t remember now.

      I found several Ivan Rebroff albums on YouTube. One of the videos had the picture of the album you’re talking about, although I didn’t actually find its contents…

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